The Town Square
Torvet was an important place in the town. Trade and crafts were what set the town apart from the countryside. The market towns each had their own municipal law regulating trade, among other things, and which only applied within the town boundary. In the countryside, the rules of the Jutlandic Law applied, adjusted to the farming community.
Torvet was a centre for trading, but other things aimed at the town’s residents also took place here. This might include the reading of notices from the authorities or performances by touring entertainers. And before the Reformation, travelling indulgence sellers occasionally used the square to present themselves and their wares to customers.
In Haderslev, Torvet has been in the same place for as long as the town has existed, i.e. from around the 12th century. The great fire in 1627 burned down all the buildings around Torvet. Their replacements were built according to tradition, with the gable facing the square and keeping to the old cadastral boundaries. Many of these buildings are still here, including the two half-timbered houses – Nos. 4 and 5 – which look much as they did when they were built. However, in the 19th century, the gables of many of the buildings facing the square were bricked in line with the fashion of the day. In some places, you can get a glimpse behind the façades and still see the original half-timber work.
During the 19th century, Torvet outgrew itself, so the local authority built a new marketplace in the northern outskirts of the town, which was taken into use in 1880.